Lassen County Biographies (I-M)

The following biographies were transcribed from Illustrated History of Plumas, Lassen & Sierra Counties, with California from 1513 to 1850 (Fariss and Smith, San Francisco, 1882). The page number of that book on which a person can be found is noted beside his/her name. In cases where, instead of first names, only initials were provided in the book, first and middle names have been provided here (whenever possible) using census records of Lassen County, vital records of Lassen County, and/or other Lassen County historical documents as source material. Known misspellings and typographical errors in the book have been corrected on this page. Corrections to names and errors are { shown in brackets }. Some Plumas County and some Sierra County biographies may be included here.

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Robert Ingram (p. 408)
He was born in Wayne county, Ohio, November 11, 1837. His father died fourteen years later, and Robert then served an apprenticeship of two years to a carpenter at Fort Defiance. He worked at his trade until the spring of 1859. He then came overland to California, and began mining on Buckeye hill, Nevada county. In the fall of 1861 he came to Long valley, and worked at his trade ten years. In 1869 he purchased a ranch of 120 acres thirty-five miles north-east of Reno, which has since been his home. He is engaged in the stock and dairy business. His ranch and summer range are in Last Chance valley, Plumas county. Politically, he is a republican. He is a member of Loyalton Lodge No. 187, I. O. O. F.

R. B. Jenison { Albert Bishop Jennison } (p. 408)
He was born in Walpole, Cheshire county, New Hampshire, March 19, 1817. In 1847 he went to St. Louis and engaged in merchandising. In 1850 he crossed the plains with a stock of goods for Kinkead & Levison, of Salt Lake City. He then came by the way of Mojave river to California, and staid on the San Joaquin river until December, 1851. He then went, via Panama, to Cincinnati, and the next spring started overland with his family. Upon reaching Salt Lake he decided to go to Oregon, which he did, settling in Rogue River valley, near Jacksonville, in September. The next summer he was burned out by the Indians, and moved to Ashland and bought a farm there. Fort Lane was afterwards built on his former ranch. Indian troubles again began in 1855, and he abandoned his place and went to Yreka, and mined a year. He then took some cattle to Petaluma. In June, 1858, he came to Susanville, and that fall moved his family here. In the fall of 1859 he built the first frame house in Susanville, and occupied it ten years. In 1861 he spent some time in the Humboldt mines. In 1869 he moved his family to the Humboldt mines, and five years later returned with them to Susanville. He continued mining there until 1878. The next year he was afflicted with paralysis in his right side, and has since been unable to engage in active pursuits. In politics, Mr. Jenison has been both democratic and republican, and now gives his adherence to the greenback party. September 9, 1841, he married Miss Mary J. Howard, of Alstead, New Hampshire, born March 29, 1824. Their children are Ellen E., born in Alstead, July 31, 1844; Mary L., born in Rogue River valley, September 20, 1853; William H., born in Petaluma December 6, 1856.

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Robert Johnson (pp. 503-504)
Son of William and Mary, was born in England, February 23, 1827. His parents came to the United States when he was about three years of age, and settled in Columbia county, New York, where Robert remained until seventeen years of age, when they removed to Michigan, where his parents died. Here he remained until twenty-four years of age, when he started for California, overland, being one of nine who drove the first band of sheep across the plains in 1851, arriving in Sacramento in September of that year. In 1852 he returned to Michigan, and remained there until 1859, when he again crossed the plains, bringing his wife with him, arriving in Honey Lake valley in July of that year. Here has ever since lived. That year he, in partnership with E. G. Bangham, bought a half-interest in the ranch he now lives on, and in 1862 dissolved partnership, and he ultimately bought, and now owns, 190 acres of the same place, 4 miles east of Susanville, on the Reno road. He is a member of F. & A. M., Lassen Lodge No. 149, and I. O. O. F., Silver Star Lodge No. 135. Was elected coroner and public administrator of Lassen county on the republican ticket in 1879, for three years. Was married March 23, 1851, to Miss Nancy Handy, born in Niagara county, New York, October 26, 1828. Their children are Adeline, born March 3, 1852; Eveline, September 6, 1853; Chester, April 1, 1856; Isabel, March 29, 1857; Frank, August 29, 1860; and Frederick, December 26, 1867. Adeline died January 26, 1869, and Frederick, March 3, 1869.

Hon. Israel Jones (p. 476)
This gentleman was another of the members of the old Roop county bar. He was born in the state of New York, August 4, 1838, and read law for a time before coming to Susanville, where he arrived in 1862. During the Sage-Brush War, James D. Byers, deputy sheriff of Plumas county, was arrested in Susanville upon the charge of having obstructed an officer in the discharge of his duty, by snatching from his hand a warrant of arrest which the official was about to serve. Young Jones had taken the Plumas side of the controversy, and now defended Byers, procuring his discharge by producing the warrant in court, and showing that the Roop county judge had neglected to sign it in his haste to have it served. This gave Jones considerable popularity, particularly among the people of Plumas; and in the fall of 1863 he was elected county judge of Plumas county by the Union party. He went to Quincy, to take his seat on the first of January, 1864, but died that very morning, after an illness of but three days. He was buried with Masonic honors, at Susanville, which order erected a fine monument to mark his grave. He was a peculiarly bright and versatile young man, and destined to make a high mark in the world had his life been spared.

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Clarence G. Kelley (p. 378)
The latest addition to the bar of Lassen County was born in Rutland county, Vermont, in March, 1852. He came to California with his parents in 1859. In 1869 he commenced teaching school, and taught in Lassen and Marin counties for six or seven years.  In 1876 he began the study of law in the office of W. B. Haskell of Petaluma, continuing there for about two years.  He was admitted to practice in the supreme court in November, 1879, and in the following May he settled in Susanville, and began the practice of his profession. He has met with good success, and is bending his energies to reap the rewards and honors of his noble profession.

John D. Kelley (pp. 408-409)
He was born in Johnson county, Indiana, February 20, 1826. He went to Iowa in 1841, where he worked at blacksmithing. In 1846 he returned to Indiana, and in 1849 he sailed from New York for San Francisco, via Panama, arriving January 9, 1850. He assisted in laying out Nevada City. Here he was married October 3, 1853, to Mrs. Mary A. (Thrall) Minckler, born in Farifield county, Connecticut, September 17, 1829. That fall he went to Smith’s Flat, Sierra county, bought a hotel, and kept it four years. He then worked at blacksmithing. All this time he was interested in mining, and did some work in the mines himself. In the spring of 1860 he mined in Virginia City a short time, then went to Carson City for six months, and then teamed two years in Washoe valley. In the winter of 1863 he took stock to Honey Lake valley, and located the ranch now owned by A. Dill. In the spring of 1871 he sold it and removed to Dixie valley, and located a stock ranch which he sold out about a year later. He then bought 1,200 acres from French & Litch, twenty miles east of Susanville. It is chiefly hay and agricultural land, well improved. He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Susanville, and Odd Fellows at Janesville. In politics, he is a democrat. His son, Elburn C. Kelley was born at Smith’s Flat, June 30, 1854, the first white child born at that place. He was drowned in Honey lake July 8, 1864.

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Edward Kingsbury (pp. 502-503)
He was born October 29, 1830, in Summit county, Ohio, where he remained until seventeen years of age, when he removed to Illinois. In the spring of 1860 he crossed the plains, stopping at Aurora, Nevada, where he engaged in mining. He remained there until the fall of 1864, when he came to Lassen county, but returned to Nevada the next year, stopping at Pine Grove until the fall of 1868, when he again came to Lassen, and bought the farm of 160 acres in Honey Lake valley, four miles south-east of Susanville, where he has since resided. In politics, Mr. Kingsbury is a democrat. On the twentieth of October, 1850, he was married to Miss Casandra Durbin { Cassandra Durbin } of Illinois, to whom were born two children: David O. born October 2, 1852; and Charles W., November 20, 1854. His wife died August, 1868, at Mound City, Kansas. He was again married to Mrs. Cynthia Wentwourth { Cynthia (Wooten or Worten) Wentworth } of Susanville, who had one child, Clara I. { Clara Isabell Wentworth }, born April 24, 1866, and who resides with them.

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Peter Lassen (pp. 332-333)
Lassen county was named in honor of Peter Lassen, one of California’s oldest and most respected pioneers, and the one who made the first permanent and continuous settlement within the borders of the county.  He was a native of Denmark, and was born in the city of Copenhagen, August 7, 1800.  At the usual time of life he was apprenticed to the trade of a blacksmith in his native city.  In this twenty-ninth year he emigrated from Denmark to the United States, and arrived the same year in Boston.  After several months’ residence in eastern cities, he removed to the west, and took up his residence at Katesville, Chariton county, Mo.  In the spring of 1839 he left Missouri in company with twelve others, two of whom were women, to cross the Rocky mountains into Oregon.  They fell in with a train belonging to the American Fur Company, and after the usual mishaps and fatigues of such an undertaking, they arrived at the Dalles, Oregon, in October of the same year.  From the Dalles they proceeded to Fort Vancouver, and thence up the Willamette to a few miles above what is now Oregon City; and after wintering here, they started for California by water, on the vessel Lospanna.  After a very rough passage of several weeks, they landed at Fort Ross, then a Russian trading post.  After a short stay they left for Sutter’s camp near the mouth of American river, where they remained fifteen days, when they went to San Francisco.  Shortly afterward Mr. Lassen went to San Jose to winter, where he worked at his trade.  In the spring of 1841 he bought some land near Santa Cruz, where he built a saw-mill.  After operating his mill for some time he sold out, taking one hundred mules for pay; and in the fall of 1842 he took them up near Captain Sutter’s, and ranched them.  He worked at his trade for Captain Sutter, taking his pay in stock.

It was while in the service of Captain Sutter, in the summer of 1843, that Lassen, with John Bidwell (now living at Chico) and James Bruheim, pursued a party of emigrants on their way to Oregon, overtaking them at Red Bluff, and recovering some stolen animals.  The northern end of the valley was then entirely unsettled, and Lassen was so pleased with the country that he selected a tract of land, from a map of the region made upon their return by Mr. Bidwell, and applied to  Governor Micheltorena for a grant of the land, which he afterwards obtained.  In December, 1843, Lassen started for his new home, but because of high water in the valley he camped at the Buttes until February, 1844, when he arrived at his destination, and built the first civilized habitation north of Marysville.  This grant lies on Deer creek, in the county of Tehama.  From this time, though others settled around him, Lassen’s ranch was the best known and most important point in northern California.  It was from this place that Fremont started on his journey from the valley to Oregon, in the spring of 1846, and it was Peter himself who guided Lieutenant Gillespie, a few days later, in search of the Pathfinder, and overtook him that memorable night on the bank of Klamath lake.

After the discovery of gold in the spring of 1848, Lassen started out, with a companion named Paul Richeson, to find a good emigrant trail into the upper end of the valley, intending to divert emigration from the usual route, by the way of the Humboldt and Truckee.  They found what was afterwards known as the Lassen route.  Two years before, a company from the Willamette valley had laid out what is known as the southern route to Oregon, running from Fort Hall west to Goose lake, then to Tule lake and through the Modoc country, across Lost river, around the lower end of Klamath lake, through the pass to Rogue river valley, and thence by the Hudson Bay trail  to the Willamette valley.  The route followed to Yreka and vicinity, in 1851 and later years, was this old Oregon trail as far as Klamath lake, and thence to Yreka by the way of Sheep rock.  Lassen’s route followed the Oregon road as far as the head-waters of Pit river; then branched to the south, following down that stream until north of Lassen peak, passing around the eastern base of the mountain to Mountain Meadows in this county; then west to the Big Meadows in Plumas county; then to the head-waters of Deer creek, and down that stream to Lassen’s ranch.

Lassen and Richeson reached Fort Hall in the summer of 1848, and induced a train of emigrants to try the new route to California.  Lassen conducted the twelve wagons that composed this train safely, though they encountered some rugged and difficult mountains, until they reached Mountain Meadows or Big Meadows.  In one of these valleys they stopped for a time to recruit their stock and supply themselves with provisions, being unable to proceed in the condition they then were.  Here they were overtaken, about the first of November, by a party of Oregonians on their way to the gold-fields, and with their aid reached Lassen’s ranch in safety.  In 1849-50 a large emigration was diverted from the Carson or Truckee route, and induced to follow Lassen’s  cut-off, or, as it was sometimes called, Lassen’s Horn route, sarcastically comparing it to the journey around Cape Horn.  The point of divergence from the main route down the Humboldt was indicated by a post stuck in the desert sands, surrounded by a watchful body-guard of sage-brush, and inclined at an angle of forty-five degrees, across which was nailed a shake bearing the legend “Lassen Road,” to woo the unwary emigrant from the crooked and broad way he had been traveling.  Many were wooed and won, and turned from the beaten track to follow this new road, of which they knew nothing save that it was claimed to be a shorter route to the mines.  Those who came late in the fall of 1849 had a sad experience in the snow which blocked the mountain trails. The experiences of those who had departed from the regular trail in 1849, to try Lassen’s road, became generally known in the state; and two or three years later, when many Californians were returning again to this state, having gone home for their families, it was almost as much as a man’s life was worth to endeavor to seduce emigrants from the old route, and attempt any of the new passes and cut-offs.

Having been unfortunate, Lassen went to Indian valley, in Plumas county, in 1851, and with Isadore Meyerwitz, or Meyerowitz, and George Edward St. Felix, took up a ranch and opened a trading post.  A few years later, Lassen and Meyerwitz came to Honey Lake valley, the first actual settlers of this region.  Meyerwitz was drowned in the lake in 1856, and the kind-hearted Lassen met his death at the mouth of the rifle, three years later.  The Indians were charged with his murder, but it is a question whether the perpetrators of the deed were not of the Caucasian race.  The citizens recovered the body from where it fell, in the mountains north of Pyramid lake, and brought it to Honey lake for burial.  The remains were interred on the ranch he had located, and a monument of gray stone marks his grave, reared by the citizens as a mark of affection and respect for the old pioneer whose kind heart and simple integrity had won the love of all.

[There are exerpts from an autobiography by General John Bidwell on the Colusa County website, which provides another glimpse into the nature of Peter Lassen as a man, as well as an honest glimpse into the lives of some of Northern California's earliest white settlers in the time before the Gold Rush. Bidwell's often humorous insight into some of Peter Lassen's ways and idiosyncrasies is well-worth the read. Visit Bidwell's story.]

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Charles Lawson (p. 502)
He was born August 2, 1843, in Fulton county, Indiana. While young, his parents removed to Missouri, where he remained until he came overland to California, in 1857. The fall of that year he spent in Honey Lake valley, and in the winter in Sierra county. He was engaged in teaming and packing until 1871, spending only a portion of each year up to that time in Lassen county. In that year he purchased the ranch of 344 acres, three and a half miles south-east of Susanville, on which he has since lived. In politics, he is a democrat. Mr. Lawson was married April 21, 1878, to Eugenia Benjamin, of Susanville, who was born in Sonoma county, this state, December 1, 1857. Their children are Everett, born May 30, 1879; and Edna, born May 23, 1881.

F. H. Lindsay { Fenton Hutchings Lindsay } (p. 409)
Mr. Lindsay is a native of Barnet, Vermont, where he was born September 14, 1845. In December, 1866, he arrived in San Francisco, by the way of Panama. He lived in that city two years, and in 1869 came to Lassen county, and engaged in farming until 1878. He then bought the stock ranch of H. Berryman, containing 320 acres, nine miles south-east of Milford, which has since been his home. He is an energetic man, unmarried, and a republican in politics.

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Andrew Litch (p. 409)
He is a native of Baden, Germany, where he was born November 16, 1833. When he was twelve years old his parents came to the United States, and settled on a farm in Harrison county, Indiana. When he was eighteen he went to Louisville, Kentucky, and learned the blacksmithing trade. In 1856 he came to California, via Panama. He mined two years, then bought a farm near Chico. In the spring of 1862 he sold this and went to Nevada, and kept a station four years. He then came to Honey Lake valley, and in 1868 bought the old Schaefer ranch, on which he remained until 1874, when he sold it, and purchased the Jones ranch of 320 acres, eighteen miles east of Susanville, on which he has since been engaged in farming and stock-raising. He is a republican in politics. In 1869 he returned east, and February 22, 1870, he married Miss Mary Grass of Harrison county, Indiana, born in Louisville, Kentucky, February 16, 1849. Their children are C., born August 6, 1872; Freddie A., January 21, 1874; Joseph T., October 27, 1875; Mary M., November 2, 1877; George P., February 25, 1880—all born in Honey Lake valley.

Thomas N. Long (p. 409)
Mr. Long was born in Jackson county, Alabama, June 30, 1833. While he was still an infant the family removed to Marion county, Tennessee, where they farmed and kept a tavern. In 1841 they settled on a farm in Arkansas. In 1854 Thomas came to California. He wintered near Chico, and in the spring went to Forest City, and worked a year lumbering. He then lived on Mosquito creek, Plumas county, mining a portion of the time until 1861. He then opened a saloon in Susanville. From 1864 to 1867 he carried the mail to Oroville. In the fall of 1867 he was elected sheriff of Lassen county on the democratic ticket, and was again elected in 1869. He was defeated in 1871 for treasurer. He had previously opened a store with John Segraves, but sold out in two years.  In 1874 he was elected supervisor for the first district.  In 1877 he was chosen treasurer.   In June, 1879, he started a general merchandise business in Susanville, in which he is now engaged. He holds the office of school trustee, and is a member of the Masonic lodge. Mr. Long married Miss C. Crow of Missouri, in 1858, who died after a wedded life of but four months. September 5, 1869, he married Miss Mary L. Jenison, born in Oregon, September 20, 1853. Their children were all born in Susanville: George A., July 11, 1872; Thomas, August 18, 1874; Arthur E., September 30, 1876; Mary Z., June 30, 1878, died July 17, 1878; Helena, June 2, 1879; Edith G., December 19, 1880.

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William B. Long (pp. 409-410)
Mr. Long was born in Jackson county, Alabama, June 17, 1828. Three years later, the family removed to Madison county, Arkansas. In the spring of 1854, he came overland to California, stopping in Yuba, and then in Butte county, where he ranged a band of cattle he had driven across the plains. In 1855 he mined on Feather river, and then mined and merchandised in Plumas county until the fall of 1856. He then lived two years in Butte county, his wife having come to California with her father, General Allen Wood. He then farmed in Plumas county, and in 1862 came to Susanville, and purchased William Weatherlow’s farm, just north of the town, which has since been his home. Hr. Long is a democrat in politics. December 23, 1852, he married Miss Mary E. Wood. They have six children: John T., born June 15, 1853; George B., May 25, 1857; Allen J., May 19, 1859; Edith G., April 12, 1861; Arthur W., January 7, 1864; Margaret Ann, October 4, 1870. 

John Lowe Jr. (p. 410)
He was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, April 2, 1848. When eleven years of age he started with his uncle, William Freeman, for California. In the fall of 1859 they arrived from their overland journey in Long valley, where John remained on a stock ranch about three years, and then came into Honey Lake valley, and has since worked at farming. In 1869 he bought a possessory title to 160 acres of land, four miles east of Janesville, where he has since lived. He has built a neat residence and commodious farm buildings. He has also forty acres of timber, 120 of swamp land, and 160 acres added to his farm. Politically, Mr. Lowe is a republican. May 28, 1878, he married Miss Sarah R. Barham, born in Butte county, California, February 18, 1859. They have one child, Florella Arvilla, born February 27, 1879.

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Joseph Lynch (p. 410)
Mr. Lynch is the only survivor of the six men who wintered in Honey Lake valley in 1855-56. He was born in County Dublin, Ireland, May 9, 1812. Being left an orphan when quite young, he went to sea at the age of thirteen; a year later he stopped in Canada, and remained seven years on a farm. At the age of nineteen he married Miss Achsa Finland. She died about two years afterwards, and their only son, William, died in New York when fourteen years of age. In 1833 Mr. Lynch moved to New York, and two years later to Wisconsin. He arrived in San Francisco, from around the Horn, March 17, 1852. He mined until the summer of 1855, when he came to Honey Lake valley with Peter Lassen, and has ever since resided in the log house they built at that time. He has been engaged in mining and ranching constantly. He is a democrat in politics.

Massillon Marstella (pp. 377-378)
This gentleman was born in Prince William county, Virginia, October 14, 1853. He received a collegiate education at Georgetown, D. C. In 1872 he went to Mendocino county, in this state, where commenced reading law in the office of Harrison & Carothers, of Ukiah. Late in 1873 he returned to the Georgetown college, and entered the law department, from which he graduated in 1874, and was admitted to practice in the supreme court of the District of Columbia. He again came to this state, and practiced in Mendocino county, where for a time he was deputy district attorney. In 1875 he came to Lassen county, and was that fall elected district attorney on the Democratic ticket, serving until 1878. Since that time he has been engaged in the practice of his profession in Susanville. He is a young man of good, studious habits, and is rapidly winning an enviable position in his chosen profession. January 9, 1878, he married Miss Nannie Tanner, born in New York in 1860. They have been blessed with three children: Massillon, born October 13, 1878, in Prince William county, Virginia; Dorsey, born March 20, 1881, in Susanville, and died March 27, 1881; infant child, born February 1, 1882.

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J. T. Masten { John Thompson Masten } (pp. 410-411)
He was born in Jacksonville, Morgan county, Illinois, April 19, 1835. Two years later his parents removed to Adams county, where he remained most of the time until he came overland to California, arriving in Amador county August 15, 1852. Until the spring of 1860 he mined in Amador, El Dorado, and Sacramento counties, when he bought a farm in Yolo county, and engaged in farming there for thirteen years. In the spring of 1873 he sold out, and bought 760 acres of John W. Kelley, twenty miles east of Susanville, on which he has since resided. Mr. Masten is a member of the Masonic and A. O. U. W. lodges at Janesville. He is a republican in politics. December 24, 1863, he married Miss Amelia D. Terrill of Elgin, Illinois, born in Yates county, New York, December 18, 1843. Their children are Minnie L., born November 16, 1868; Elbertia A., March 9, 1878. The former was born at Knight’s Landing, Yolo county, and the latter in Lassen county.

J. H. Maxwell { Jefferson "Jeff" Houston Maxwell } (p. 411)
He was born in Du Page county, Illinois, June 20, 1837. In 1859 he came overland to California, and mined in Rich gulch, Plumas county, for one year. He then engaged for twelve years in the stock and butchering business in Indian valley. In 1874 he bought the Greenville hotel, and conducted it until 1877, when he sold out and came to Susanville. He bought the Stewart House, and ran it three years, when he sold it, and purchased his farm three miles east of Susanville. He is a member of the Masonic lodge and commandery at Susanville. November 22, 1871, he married Miss Joana Huntsinger of Taylorville, born in White county, Illinois, in 1853. Maggie May, their only child, was born in Plumas county, November 30, 1872.

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Hon. Calvin McClaskey (pp. 375-376)
This gentleman was born in Fairfield, Ohio, March 25, 1829. There he received a common-school education. In 1850 he removed to Illinois, and engaged in farming for four years, reading law during his leisure hours. In 1854 he removed to this state, and in 1872 came to Susanville, and was appointed a justice of the peace the same year. In 1873 he was elected county judge, to succeed Judge Chapman, and held the position four years. In 1878 he was admitted to practice in the district court, and has continued the practice of the law in Susanville with good succeed. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. at Susanville. He was married December 13, 1865, in Virginia City, to Miss Annie J. Slovan, born in Canada in 1840. They have two children: Lillie Celeste, born December 2, 1866, in Yuba county; and Theodocia Belle, born September 13, 1874, in this county.

James McDermott (p. 410)
He was born in Clark county, Missouri, June 11, 1842. In 1859 he came overland with his brother Thomas, and spent that winter in El Dorado county. The next year he went to Virginia City, and teamed three years. He bought the stock ranch of Thomas Smith, eighteen miles south of Milford, Lassen county, to which he has added until he now owns 400 acres. He is engaged in the stock business. Mr. McDermott is a republican. He belongs to the Masonic lodge at Janesville. April 22, 1865, he married Miss Katie Gardner of Long valley. They have five children: Emma I., born February 19, 1866; Andrew J., January 4, 1868; James W., July 24, 1871; George T., May 4, 1873; Maud A. September 1 1880.

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Thomas McFadden (p. 506)
He was born in Ireland, October 15, 1819. In 1831 he came to the United States, settling in Philadelphia, where he remained nine years, during which time he learned the tinsmith trade. In 1840 he went to New Orleans, and followed his trade until 1849, when he emigrated to California. Here he followed mining for several years, then worked at his trade in Chico, Butte county. He came to Lassen county, and settled on the farm on which he now resides, in 1849. A view of his place may be seen on another page.

N. S. McKinsey { Noble Samuel McKinsey } (p. 410)
The editor of the Advocate was born in Downieville, California, in 1855. He received a business education, and learned the art of telegraphy. He made the first appearance in Lassen county in 1877, having charge of the construction of the first line of telegraph to this county. After its completion, he remained in charge of the Susanville office one year. He then went into the newspaper business in Modoc county, in which he is now engaged with D. C. Slater. In 1881 they purchased the Lassen Advocate, since which time Mr. McKinsey has lived in Susanville, and occupied the position of editor and manager of that paper. He was married December 23, 1879, to Miss Louisa B. Slater, born in Janesville, in this county, September 29, 1861.

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Capt. Charles A. Merrill (p. 504)
He was born in Jackson, Maine, November 25, 1838, from which place his parents removed, while he was yet young, to Bangor, where his father owned a large hardware business, and carried on a tannery and leather manufacturing establishment until his death, in 1845. The following year his mother died, after which he lived with an uncle, Ezekiel T. Hatch, a leading ship-builder of Belfast, Maine. Until fifteen years of age, Charles attended school regularly either in Jackson or Bangor, but in that year he commenced going to sea during the summer time, and attending school in the winter. This he continued until eighteen, in which year he made his first voyage to the island of Martinique, from where he went to the Spanish Main, and in after years cruised all over the world. In 1864, he abandoned the sea at San Francisco, and engaged in land speculations in California. In 1870 he was engaged by the settlers of Santa Barbara and vicinity, to proceed to Washington and resist,and if possible prevent, the confirmation by Congress of a large Spanish land grant of twenty-two leagues (66 miles) of land to a syndicate of speculators, headed by Tom Scott and Levi Parsons, which would have amounted to wholesale robbery of the settlers in that county. With the able assistance of George W. Julian, chairman of the House Committee of Public Lands, he succeeded in defeating its confirmation, and in having the pueblo ratified, thereby giving to the Santa Barbara people a government title to their lands. During the years 1872-3 he engaged in mining and stock speculations with great success, and in 1874 came to Lassen county, and located an extensive tract of fine timber land, just west of Susanville, in the midst of which he erected a saw-mill, which he operated for three years. In 1874, he conceived of the idea of that vast irrigation scheme for the reclamation of those extensive tracts of desert lands which lie north and east of Honey lake. In winter of 1874-5 he went to Washington, and had passed “The Desert Land” bill, which then applied to Lassen county only, but which has since become general. The details of this enterprise are given elsewhere.  Mr. Merrill is a live, shrewd, energetic man, and with his enterprise has caused large sums of money to be put into circulation in the county, and will continue so to do, to his and the settlers’ material benefit. He was married in February, 1875, in Belfast, Maine, to Miss Clara A. Shibles (they had been engaged for fifteen years) of that place. He returned with his bride to San Francisco, where they resided until his business began to require his constant attention, since which time they have made their home in Belfast in this county. They have had two children: Florence E., born November 1, 1876, in San Francisco; and Charles A., February 1, 1878, but living only two years and twenty-one days.

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Gurdon W. Meylert { Gurdon William Meylert } (pp. 506-507)
He is the son of Secku and Abigale (Nichols) Meylert, and was born at Montrose, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, May 19, 1837. He had the benefit of a good education, having attended the Lewisburg University and the Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York. At the age of fifteen he taught school at La Porte, Pennsylvania. He commenced traveling at an early age, visiting the South Sea Islands, and spending a number of months in China. In November, 1855 he landed in San Francisco, and adopted the profession of teacher. Taught for several years in Napa county. In the winter of 1861 he located to Sacramento, but the floods of 1861-62 destroyed all his accumulations. In 1862 he was engaged in business in San Francisco, traveling over the state for a portion of the time. He settled in Plumas county in March, 1863, tried mining for a time, but being unsuccessful, went to teaching, and followed it four years, during which time he held the office of county superintendent of public instruction. Since his residence here he has been identified with and largely instrumental in bringing to successful completion every public improvement in the county. He has held many positions of trust in the county. Mr. Meylert has recently removed to Janesville, Lassen county, where he purchased the beautiful home formerly belonging to L. N. Breed, together with other large interests, including a general merchandise store here, and another in Susanville. He is receiver of the United States land office at Susanville. His father, Secku Meylert, was a man of those sterling qualities which make men, and which he has transmitted to his sons, Gurdon W., General A. N., Michael, and Dr. A. P. —all of whom are men of high moral character, great energy, and strict integrity, and enjoy the confidence and respect of all who know them. Gurdon W. was married in January, 1864, to Miss H. E. Madden { Harriet Ellen Madden }, daughter of G. W. { George W. Madden } and Eliza Madden of Taylorsville. His portrait and view of his residence may be seen elsewhere in this work.

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Andrew Miller (p. 411)
This gentleman was born in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 1826. He, with his parents, removed to the United States in 1839. Settled first in Harford county, Maryland, where they remained three years, and then removed to Pike county, Illinois, where his father engaged in farming. Here Andrew remained until 1849, when he came overland to California, arriving in Sacramento in the summer of that year, and in the fall removed to Hangtown, where he mined until the next spring, from which time for the next twelve years he engaged in merchandising, packing, and other branches of business. In the spring of 1863 he came to Susanville, and, in partnership with Rufus Kingsley, built the first fire-proof store in the town. Four years later he sold out and removed to Longville, Plumas county, and settled on a farm he had bought in 1859, where he has ever since made his home. In April, 1871, he was appointed receiver for the U. S. Land Office at Susanville, which position he still holds. He is a member of the Masonic lodge, chapter, and commandery at Susanville. In politics, he is a republican. Mr. Miller was married August 25th, 1862, to Miss Lydia Russell, born in Maine, August 20, 1838. Their children are Maud, born August 9, 1863; Russell Keith, April 12, 1865; Frank Leon, August 3, 1866; Mabel L., February 11, 1868; Perley, January 6, 1870; Mark, December 30, 1872—all born in Plumas county.

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Gordon N. Mott (pp. 373-374)
In July, 1862 Associate Justice Gordon N. Mott came to Susanville to hold a term of district court for the First Judicial District of Nevada Territory. The counties of Storey, Washoe, and Lake (changed the year to Roop) were all in one district, and Judge Mott, one of three supreme judges, was assigned to this district. There had never been any legal practice in this section, nor were there living here regularly authorized attorneys, nor any one who made any pretense to the profession of the law, except a young man named Israel Jones, who had read law for a brief period before coming here in 1862, but never had been admitted to practice in any court. The men who had acted the role of attorneys in the valley were Isaac N. Roop, John S. Ward, E. V. Spencer, Z. J. Brown, and A. D. McDonald, who had conducted causes before various justice courts and boards of arbitration, at the request of their friends. The only law books in the valley were two volumes of Wood’s California Digest, and the nearest lawyers were in Quincy, too far away to do much harm. Judge Mott opened his court in the old Magnolia building, on the south side of Main street. The first business was the examination of a class of applicants to become members of the bar, which consisted of Messrs Roop, Ward, Spencer, and Jones. The examination was brief, being confined more to plain, practical propositions, such as any intelligent business man could answer, than to the abstruse and technical points of law. The most difficult interrogation was to define the term corporation. Just before the court convened, an attorney form Carson City called Mr. Roop aside and instructed him on the proper answer to this question, telling him, “A corporation is a creature of the law, having certain powers and duties of a natural person.” When the governor was called upon to answer the question, he said, “A corporation is a band of fellows without any soul, of whom the law is a creature, who have some powers and takes a great many more, and entirely ignores the statutory duties imposed upon them.” The whole class was admitted, and but one of them, Mr. Spencer, is now living to practice the profession the right to which he then acquired. Again, in January, 1863, Judge Mott held a term of court in Susanville, but adjourned because of no cases being on the docket. The month before, the governor of Nevada ad appointed Hon. John S. Ward to the position of probate judge of Roop county, and he was in judicial charge here during the conflict of jurisdiction between the authorities of Roop and Plumas counties, which ended in the creation of Lassen county.

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Charles Mulholland (p. 503)
He is the son of Peter and Catherine Mulholland, and was born August 25, 1838, in the county of Londonderry, Ireland. When nine years of age he, with his parents, went to Scotland, where they remained until 1862, when he came to the United States. He served throughout the late civil war, being at Hampton Roads, and taking part in the conquering of the confederate iron-clad Merrimac. He was with Farragut’s fleet on the Mississippi river, was in front of Vicksburg, and in 1863 was on the U. S. steamer Wachusett when the Florida was captured. At the close of the war he withdrew from the Navy, and settled in Pennsylvania. In 1873 he went to Illinois, where he remained four years, when he came to California and settled in Lassen county. Here he was a preacher in the Methodist church until the fall of 1879, when he was elected to the legislature on the republican ticket, as joint representative for Plumas and Lassen counties, serving in this body with ability, and satisfaction to his constituents. In 1881 he removed to Greenville, Plumas county, and purchased the Bulletin, in charge of which he still continues. Under his guidance this paper is wielding a moral and political influence enjoyed by few papers in Northern California. Mr. Mulholland was married May 4, 1865, to Miss Mary Havey of Dover, New Jersey, where she was born June 6, 1846. Their children are Irving, born February 7, 1866, in New Jersey; Katie, June 6, 1868, in Pennsylvania; and Mary, June 4, 1874, in Illinois.

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Thomas J. Mulroney (p. 411)
He was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, August 15, 1838. Nine years later the family emigrated to the United States, settling in New York, where Thomas lived until 1857, spending some time in Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Georgia. He came to California in 1857, via the Isthmus, arriving in August. He mined for a year on Soda bar, in Plumas county. In the fall of 1858 he came to Lassen county, and engaged in farming and packing. He bought an interest with his brother Edward in a ranch near Susanville, in 1860, which he sold in 1864. In 1862, with Edward and two others, he bought a ranch of 320 acres, four miles east of Janesville. Since 1865 he has been the sole owner of this property, where he still resides. In politics, Mr. Mulroney is a democrat. He married Miss Sarah Thompson, April 6, 1866. She was born in Monroe county, New York, June 9, 1849. Their children were all born in Honey Lake valley: William, January 12, 1868, died July 15, 1869; Ellen, August 18, 1869; Alice, January 24, 1872; Thomas, January 14, 1874; Mary, February 12, 1877; Edward, November 12, 1881.

Phillip Myers (p. 502)
He was born in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, October 22, 1818. In 1833 he, with his parents went to Licking county, Ohio, where he remained until twenty-one years of age, when he went to Randolph county, Illinois, and worked at blacksmithing, which trade he learned in Ohio. In 1852 he came overland to California, arriving in Marysville September 3 of that year. He here worked at his trade until February, 1854, when he went to Oroville, where, besides working at his trade, he engaged in the hotel business and farming. In 1860 he went back to Marysville, and in 1862 to San Francisco, where he remained until 1864, when he came to Lassen county and started a blacksmith and wagon shop in Susanville. He continued here until 1871, when he bought 160 acres of land one mile south of Susanville, where he has since made his home. He has since added to his farm, until he now has 640 acres. He was married December 21, 1845, to Miss Hannah A. McCormick, who was born in Boone county, Kentucky, January 31, 1827. The children born to them are Thomas A., born June 29, 1848; Cyrus R., September 10, 1849; Alice, December 25, 1850; Charles P., December 23, 1852; Emma, June 4, 1854; Zebulon M., November 17, 1855; Albert, March 26, 1857; Ada F., November 10, 1858; Frank L., December 29, 1863; Annie, November 18, 1870. Alice died October 12, 1852; and Emma, June 9, 1854.

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